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Obama Asking Congress For Emergency Funding To Combat Zika

A patient at a Rio de Janeiro clinic has a blood sample taken to check for Zika and other viruses.
Vanderlei Almeida AFP/Getty Images
A patient at a Rio de Janeiro clinic has a blood sample taken to check for Zika and other viruses.

Obama Asking Congress For Emergency Funding To Combat Zika
Obama Asking Congress For Emergency Funding To Combat Zika GUESTS: Dr. Ahmad Bailony, pediatrician, Sharp Chula Vista David Wellis, chief executive officer, San Diego Blood Bank

Anyone who has traveled to areas with the Zika virus outbreak should refrain from giving blood. Bilingual issues by San Diego blood bank recently people who have traveled to Mexico, South America, and some Pacific islands should wait for weeks before becoming a donor's. Today President. Obama requested nearly $2 billion from Congress for preventive measures the development and agnostic tests for the Zika virus. The good news is that knowledgeable law. People do not die of Zika, a lot of people get it, though even know that they had. What we now know that there appears to be some significant risk for pregnant women women were thinking about getting pregnant. That was President. Obama speaking on CBS this morning. At the residence of outliers is really serious about it suspected linked to birth defects call microcephaly, has led to enormous concern for pregnant women. In fact this easy as writing pregnant women to travel to any of the affected area. Join me as Dr. Ahmad Bailony he is a pediatrician, Sharp Chula Vista, welcome to the show. And David Wellis is CEO of the San Diego blood bank. Is there any reason David San Diego should be particularly concerned about the spread of Zika virus. Not particularly. For all the blood banks were following procedures that have been in place for many many years. So for a decade, and chicken goon Jacob West Nile, we have procedures in place for art overestimation of the remaining days in healthy, patients receive the blood. So the habit some areas of cost digestions, regulations, from the AAB, it's the former American Association of blood Banks, that make that suggestion. It's a self deferral of voters we put affected outdoor centers save it that you have travel in those areas, with 28 days before you come back. It's not even, we are not from the donors, endorses self deferral. Heather a case of the cars is here Not aware of the lesser light couple of people came back and contracted in the Pacific island so they had no action, the virus here. Thanks, so San Diego and is posting this note is that people should refrain, our blood banks across the country of the similar guidelines? They are. Whenever anyone donates copy locally with information card to call so we suggest that for any reason if you become ill, within the next several days or weeks after the meeting we want to hear from you. This would also have capture some of those potential donors who he do not show symptoms when they donate then come back and they do. Our doors are really good, there really distorts so we will hear from satisfied that when I did get to that later that's why I'm calling it. Typically, are procedures is if anyone think like that, we will Orangina donation or discard. Doctor if someone is not pregnant, or not planning on becoming pregnant, what kind of of the Zika virus pose? If you're not pregnant or not planning on becoming pregnant, Zika is a pretty well illness. It's a virus that's transmitted by mosquitoes, is maintenances are very low-grade fevers, so were talking like 100, 101, you feel achy, to get the red eyes and joint pain. But other than that, I mean, it's very rare that this virus really called his any significant disease and in fact, four out of five people that outliers show no symptoms. No symptoms whatsoever. Reports from Brazil say a number of pregnant women who caught the virus had babies with a birth defect called microcephaly. Can you describe definition for? Is one of those medical works sounds more complicated than it is. It needs a baby with a small head. Were talking about will have the largest in your head is a little bit smaller than the average, is what we call the process out of the standard deviation. The risk with a baby who had a small head is basically that the brain cannot grow in whatever you don't have space for the grow, that obviously neurological problems, develop some problems associated with that. Based on quarterly microcephaly to have any chance of living a normal life on the type of microcephaly, how severe it is, and what we do is pediatricians and trade languages can I decide with this, whenever you come to our office we do a little thing refitted to measure and put it around they had. We track out over time. That's something that you can't always answer right away with it is because a lot things in medicine answers, with more data in one of those things is. Answer is not a very straightforward but a lot of medicine is not straightforward. I think that's another thing is fairly straightforward. I was able to establish a clear link between Zika virus birth defect? Great question morning. While in the second Brazil habits since this rank they have seen a 24 in cases of perfectly. For a while they did not know exactly what was causing that. Researchers began to look at the Zika virus which they knew there was an outbreak of that, and have identified a little bit more than 3000 of those babies that have microcephaly and Zika virus. Where is the Zika virus that's causing the microcephaly still is unknown, we are saying there is a strong link right now but for example there is other countries like Columbia, where I just recently read have the cases of pregnant women with the Zika virus in the and not reported any cases of microcephaly. There's a lot about as far as I know. David, one thing I imagine that is not is we know for fact that this virus can be transmitted through blood. I think again, I believe that's true. I think there is a case I believe in Brazil and in my case Texas as well this last week. And also essential transmission is that correct? That if Razzano again is a strong correlation, not true that has been proven yet. There were reports of Zika virus also found in urine and saliva all the people do we know if those are also ways of the disease can be transmitted? Is always possible in a particular report is currently correlation really know for sure. , There's a lot of quality . Well this guideline asking people not to give blog for the money the Gulf of Mexico. Decided to think Sandy was I was There have been studies on behalf of data provided to us from the ADF looks at the US population travel to the affected areas that you mentioned. Is higher in the winter months because Mirsky being the cold is about if you travel to all those places is about 2%. We might expect in San Diego and 82% of our doors have actually traveled let's say the last month to those areas in combat evidentially donated. We don't know for sure copiers and kind of a national number. What we have done is one additional step beyond the guidelines in San Diego blood bank is this last weekend we did, we provide pose donation information acclamations. We spent in an additional email to all those individuals that have donated to us in life month and we did have one individual who was in Mexico, he wasn't feeling so good so out of a couple thousand there was just one reported that pic Considering where we are that you think might be more than the national average 2% five It could potentially. Clinician before our doors are really good stewards of their donation. We would hear from them. They are really good about reporting any sentence. Dr., you have heard what President. Obama is requesting from Congress. Viagra take on that, the idea of combining preventive methods try to control the mosquito population, in the US, money for a vaccine, to develop a vaccine, and diagnostic tests. Very good three-pronged approach as far as you're concerned? I think is a good approach. One of the things in the modern day we have so many alerts and media Facebook and things is that people that went out like this happens, people tend to use fear a lot. Patients come to me afraid, but should I have a baby? I think that the real message we need to get out there is that this is not about the archives of public health and public companies about informing people and having that educates. Whether the president comes out with today's measures what is really doing is providing more access, or resources, to combat this virus. That's a really needed an educated public because the only really control an outbreak is let people know about Zika virus and coordinate doctors and that stuff to learn. The one that is important that your doctor is just as human as your patient, and would be like this happens, we don't necessarily have all the answers. A lot of the questions right now but the company are saying I don't know that because you're still learning. The client is the president is providing a great deal of resources, is great. Just quickly Dr., when a patient comes to you and says should I be? What I'm telling them? I tell them yes, it's good for business. And in all seriousness, the first time there's still no local transmission in the United States, is case of the sexual transmission in Texas but in no case where a person living in the United States, got Zika virus from someone living in United States. The nurses to have a baby. We have seen no increases in the rate of processing in the United States. , Thank you both. I've been speaking with Dr. Ahmad Bailony , and with David Wellis . Thank you both very much.

President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to help fight the Zika virus. In an announcement Monday, the White House said the money would be used to expand mosquito control programs, speed development of a vaccine, develop diagnostic tests and improve support for low-income pregnant women.

Zika virus disease is mainly spread by mosquitoes. Most people who catch it experience mild or no symptoms. But mounting evidence from Brazil suggests that infection in pregnant women is linked to abnormally small heads in their babies — a birth defect called microcephaly.


"What we now know is that there appears to be some significant risk for pregnant women and women who are thinking about having a baby," Obama said in an interview aired Monday on "CBS This Morning."

The White House said that as spring and summer approach, the U.S. must prepare to quickly address local transmission with the continental U.S. Obama added, however, that "there shouldn't be a panic on this."

Two health care experts will answer reporters' questions Monday at the regular White House press briefing: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The administration's request to Congress is separate from the budget for the next fiscal year that Obama will submit to Congress on Tuesday. The administration seeks the Zika money much more quickly than the regular budget process would allow.

On Tuesday, administration officials are slated to brief Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-Ky.) and other congressional leaders on the administration's Zika prevention and response plan, McConnell's office said. The lawmakers also expect to hear more about the new funding request and the administration's other spending priorities "given limited federal resources," according to a statement from McConnell spokesman Don Stewart.


The Pan American Health Organization reports 26 countries and territories in the Americas with local Zika transmission. To date, there has not been transmission of the Zika virus by mosquitoes within the U.S., but some Americans have returned to the U.S. with Zika infections from affected countries in South America, Central America, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands.

Most of the money would be allocated to the Department of Health and Human Services to improve laboratory capacity, launch educational programs and establish rapid response teams. About $250 million of assistance would be directed specifically to Puerto Rico though extra Medicaid funding. The island is in the midst of a fiscal crisis. And $200 million would go toward research and commercialization of new vaccines and diagnostic tests.

The remainder, about $335 million would go to the U.S. Agency for International Development. The money would help affected countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean provide training to health care workers, stimulate private sector research and help pregnant women gain access to repellant to protect against mosquitoes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 50 laboratory-confirmed cases among U.S. travelers from December 2015- February 5, 2016, the White House said. So far, the only recent case that has been transmitted within the U.S. is believed to have occurred in Texas through sex.

Zika usually is transmitted through bites from infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are common in Florida, along the Gulf Coast and states that border Mexico.